Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Friday joined the growing chorus of members of Congress who have condemned President Obama's decision to enter the conflict in Libya without first seeking congressional approval.
"I feel so strongly that the president did not follow the War Powers Act and that he should have come to Congress for approval first," Collins said on "In the Arena" a program on WCSH 6, a local NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine. "In my mind there is just no doubt about it."
Collins and other members of Congress from both parties contend that the unrest in Libya did not meet the criteria laid out in the War Powers Resolution Act of 1973 that allows the president to go to war without approval of the Congress. That act was a joint congressional resolution that empowers the president to send armed forces into action abroad only with authorization of Congress or if the United States or its interests are under attack.
"If there had been in imminent threat to the United States, then the president would have been justified in deploying troops and using force but that was not the situation that we faced," said Collins.
In March, Obama ordered U.S. armed forces to join in coalition attacks on military installations and forces controlled by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. Although the U.S. has since withdrawn from many of the military strikes, Obama has ordered the military to begin new attacks with unmanned U.S. drones.